Wasco man shot, killed had been ‘paranoid,’ in days prior

Homicide News

Miguel Lopez

WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — On the day he was shot, Miguel Ibarra Lopez felt somebody was out to get him. On Tuesday night in Wasco the 37-year-old was shot in front of his home. Family told KGET.com Lopez was outside playing with his son minutes before he was shot. 

One of the first people to Lopez’s aid was his brother-in-law, Victor Lopez, who was at the home when the victim was shot. 

“We were waiting for my brother-in-law to come inside to have dinner with us,” Lopez said, “My little nephew was with him.”

The day was like any other for Lopez as he finished his day’s work in the fields and returned home at around 5 p.m. 

His daughter, Monica Lopez, mentioned to KGET.com that her father grew suspicious someone had been following him since his release from prison in January.

“He kept telling me every day someone is out for me,” Lopez said, “I thought he was just paranoid because he had gotten out of prison. I didn’t think anything of it, but I should’ve listened to him because he was right.”

Lopez noticed there were people in bikes passing the home and unfamiliar cars parked close by. 

The family tells KGET.com that moments after Lopez’s son walked back inside the home is when he was shot.

When family members rushed outside, they didn’t know what was wrong with Lopez as he was face down on some rose bushes. 

It was not until Lopez’s body was turned around when the family knew he had been shot once in the chest. 

Shortly after 9 p.m. paramedics arrived and found Lopez suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest and died moments later in front of his home. 

Miguel had a lengthy criminal record, including gun and gang convictions, but his family hopes that Lopez is seen as a hard-working father trying to do whatever he could for his family and not judged on his past.

His daughter saw the changes his father made and wants his memory to reflect the person he was working towards being.

“Just don’t stereotype people just because of the past,” Monica Lopez said, “People do try to change and they’re willing to change. We just need to help them out.” 

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